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Blog - The emblematic personalities of roller skating
Since the beginning of roller skating, this practice has never stopped evolving, and its history has only grown thanks to actors who have marked this universe with their talents. They are now considered as icons in the field.
Firstly, we will discuss the emblematic figures of the world of roller skating who have contributed to its evolution thanks to their innovations. Next, we will take a look at the athletes who have left their mark on their discipline, whether officially recognized or not, thanks to their remarkable performances. Finally, we will glance at the personalities who are recognized by the community and the clique.
/PERSONALITIES WHO HAVE MARKED ROLLER SKATING BY THEIR INNOVATIONS
Sebastien Laffargue can be defined as a Swiss knife. Former professional and champion of multiple disciplines between the end of the 90's and the beginning of the 2000's, he contributed to the promotion of Slalom (Freestyle and Speed) all over the world thanks to his videos on the Internet. After a successful professional career, he started his own business in 2005 by creating Universkate, then SEBA 2 years later. SEBA immediately became a reference in inline skating. He also created Luminous, a brand of light up wheels that you can find on the Flaneurz website. Sébastien Laffargue is also the precursor of the famous World Slalom Series which gathers more than one hundred competitions throughout the world, where each participant scoring points according to their place, is registered in a world ranking. We advise you to have a look at the website: if there is a competition near you, it's the opportunity to discover Slalom and Jumping at a high level!
A legend in roller derby and other disciplines in the 90’s, Mo Sanders aka Quadzilla is one of the most recognizable names in the skating world. Originally from Washington State, he never stops traveling and runs his life as he sees fit. Today, he runs a company called Grn Mnstr Roller sport, known for Hearthless Wheels and Antik Skates.
From Xgames to Hollywood to TV shows to creating great products, Mo Sanders has made a huge contribution to the culture and has spread it internationally.
It is impossible to quote one of the co-founders of Flaneurz when talking about a revolution in the rollerblading market! Since childhood, Florian Gravier is a passionate rollerblader who scours the streets of Paris and its suburbs in search of good riding spots. Inspired by his multiple travels in more than 45 countries and his meetings with several urban tribes, he decided to combine his passions in an object: graft wheels under any type of shoes and combine the practice of a sport with his style. To start the project, he surrounds himself with 3 friends: Arnaud Darut-Giard, Walid Nous and David Brun. Today, Florian and his teams continue to develop Flaneurz and Slades worldwide!
There are other famous people who have also contributed to the development of roller skating, such as Merlin, the creator of roller skating, or Jhon Svensson, who was working for K2 Sport at the time and invented the Softboot, a real revolution for recreational roller skating. If you want to know more, read the book "Roller mania", which traces the exciting history of roller skating.
/PERSONALITIES WHO HAVE MARKED ROLLER SKATING BY THEIR PERFORMANCES
/ROBERTO RIVA ET TANJA ROMANO
When it comes to figure skating, these two names are unavoidable.
Roberto Riva, of Italian origin, is one of the most medal-winning athletes on the world stage.From 2005 to 2009, he left no chance to his opponents by imposing himself in different disciplines like free skating, combined event and acrobatics.
We won't go over all his amazing performances, but we invite you to watch the one at the 2007 World Championship in Australia, where he proved to be a freeskating champion.
Tanja Romano is also part of the very short list of champions who have won everything in their path. She is simply the most successful woman in the history of figure skating with 15 world gold medals, 9 European gold medals (6 of which are gold) and 13 in the Italian championship. After her professional career, Tanja launched her association at home in Trieste in 2017 with her friend Serena Chacon in order to transmit her passion and teach the principles of this sport to the youngest.
/BILL BUTLER ET GLORIA NORD
Although their practices do not correspond to the official disciplines of the International Federation of Roller Sports, they have greatly contributed to the evolution of roller skating culture.
Bill Butler, seen as the godfather of roller skating, is one of the great names to remember. Originally from Detroit, he created the famous "Jammin" technique, still very popular today, which introduced jazz and funk into the world of skating. As a creative director, he contributed to making the movie Roller Skating Fever, a must-see film that introduced this skating technique to the world. If you want to know more about the life of this roller skating legend, you can read this article which will tell you his story in detail. "Let the music move your feet".
Born on August 2, 1922 into a family of artists, Gloria Nord aspired to become a Broadway singer. Her life changed course when she was spotted by Sid Grauman, who opened the Hollywood Roller Bowl on Sunset Boulevard in 1938. A visionary, he decided to accompany the young woman in the construction of a show that would take her around roller skating in the United States. Nicknamed "The Soja Henie of the roller rinks", she began to make a name for herself but her career exploded when Harold Steinman chose her as the star of the famous show: "The Skating Vanities". For almost 8 years, Gloria Nord and the 100 other skaters travel the world to present their show to millions of people. She became a superstar and a true reference for all skaters. In the early 50's, Gloria Nord decided to quit roller skating and started ice skating for 10 years before retiring.
/ PERSONALITIES WHO HAVE MARKED THE COMMUNITY AND THE CLIQUE
/ OUMI JANTA
Although she has only been in the roller skating scene for a short time, she is still one of the most followed skaters in the world. At 23 years old, the young woman put on roller skates for the first time at a roller disco event in Berlin, and since then she never leaves them. It is in 2020 that she became known and saw her popularity explode thanks to this video published on her Instagram. She is one of the people who made the "Jam Skating" (movement that combines roller skating with dance and gymnastics) grow worldwide. She is now a big name in the roller skating scene as she creates links between roller skating and fashion. She often collaborates with prestigious luxury brands such as Bottega Venetta where she was the face of the Wardrobe 2.0. You may have also seen her perform her signature move on the catwalk at the fabulous Etam show during Fashion Week 2020.
Triple world champion in roller skating on ramps, winner of the X Games, the gravity games and the ASA world tour, this is only a small part of Taîg Khris' record of achievements!
Born in 1975 in Algeria, Taîg Khris is one of the most successful athletes in extreme sports. He is a role model for the following generations. He marks his mark on the world of roller skating with his record in high jump in front of the Eiffel Tower in 2010 and in long jump in Montmartre the following year. At the end of his career, Taïg Khris hosted several TV shows related to roller skating and extreme sports. Today, the man with multiple records is pursuing an entrepreneurial career.
Michelle Steilen aka Estrojen is a world famous American skater. What was supposed to be a leisure activity, became a natural part of Estro's life. She competed in many roller skating championships, but it was when she moved to California that she realized that what she really loved was riding for fun, feeling nostalgic, and recapturing her childhood spirit. Seeing that other people shared the same values, she decided to create her brand: Moxi. She opened a store and taught roller skating for free in order to make herself known. She is the founder of the Moxi girls, a community of passionate women who help each other all over the world.
Some personalities have used roller skating in other artistic fields. Phil Dussol is a French director who made a name for himself in the film industry thanks to his way of filming: roller skating! After an internship in the United States as an assistant on the film Die Hard 3 with Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson, he returned to France with the goal of directing his short film "Easy Money". Two years later, the project was completed, won several awards and became a real reference. Phil Dussol has inspired many directors with the quality of his roller skating shots.
The article is coming to the end. The world of roller skating has many other emblematic personalities. Some known to you, some known to us. If you enjoyed this article, let us know on Instagram, we'll be happy to tell you more.
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